15 Dec 2017

West London Forensic Services (WLFS), part of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, have won the Patient Safety Award at this year’s Health Business Awards for their work to reduce physical restraint.

The Health Business Awards recognise and celebrate the significant contributions made each year by organisations and individuals that work inside and alongside the NHS. Awards are presented in 19 different categories, focusing on facilities, specialisms and innovation.

WLFS have been recognised for developing measures that reduced the use of restrictive practice such as physical restraint, medication, seclusion, and the incidence of violence within adult secure services. The project was carried out to improve service user experience, maintain safe services, and focussed on improving the experience of safety for patients and staff, while minimising the need for the detrimental and criticised use of restrictive interventions.

The Trust have shown progress through introducing a ‘Safewards’ programme, revising its ‘Promoting Safe and Secure Services’ mandatory training with service users, and introducing a new training workshop that is being co-delivered with one of the Trust’s service user consultants. In addition, the Trust is providing a revised ‘See, Think, Act’ training workshop to staff.

As a result, since 2016, the Trust has showed a 60% reduction in medication-led restraint, with 238 reported episodes of restraint in 2015-16, and 209 in 2016-27 – this is a 12% reduction.

Carolyn Regan, West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Reducing restrictions for mental health patients, especially those in forensic services, is a very worthwhile aim. It enables staff and patients to spend more time on therapeutic activities to enhance recovery. It creates safer wards and a better environment for everyone.

“We challenge ourselves every day to ensure that we do not restrict people more than we need to. It requires careful management to maintain a place of safety for patients, staff and carers. This award win, in such a challenging, yet rewarding, area of patient experience in mental health, is a great testament to the clinical care of the team in West London Forensic Services. We are delighted to win this award for the Trust and for the recognition given to our staff.”

The Trust beat competition from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS FT, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group and North East London Foundation Trust/BHR Clinical Commissioning Group.

Neil Ragoobar, Service Director for Medium Secure Services and Doctor Satinder Sahota, Consultant, attended the Health Business Awards ceremony at the Grange Hotel in London on Thursday 14 December to collect the award on behalf of their WLFS team. The awards were presented in 22 categories by broadcaster, journalist and physician Dr Phil Hammond.